To refresh your memory, here is a snippet of what he said: "I warn you that you will have ignorance – when talents are untended and wits are wasted, when learning is a privilege and not a right.
"I warn you that you will have poverty – when pensions slip and benefits are whittled away by a Government that won't pay in an economy that can't pay.
"I warn you that you will be cold – when fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don't notice and the poor can't afford.
"I warn you that you must not expect work – when many cannot spend, more will not be able to earn. When they don't earn, they don't spend. When they don't spend, work dies.
"I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old."
Nearly 30 years on and the outlook for many is more bleak than even he might have imagined. Back then you still had the opportunity of a grant-assisted university education and at least some level of parity existed between unemployment benefits and average consumption levels.
It's a very different story for the 5980 young people in Scotland who currently have been claiming Jobseeker's Allowance for more than a year.
I recently attended an Action Forum on Youth Employment in Linlithgow – one in a series of events across Scotland arranged by the Minister for Youth Employment, Angela Constance.
I had the pleasure of taking along with me two young people who have found work through the employment programme, Community Jobs Scotland, delivered by SCVO and Social Enterprise Scotland, with Scottish Government backing.
What I saw and heard directly from young people there was what I increasingly see. Not feckless young layabouts. Not unskilled, unmotivated, scroungers. What I saw were young people who have done all "the right things" and are still struggling. They have done exactly what I, and others, did. They put themselves through further or higher education, they took low-paid, part-time jobs to get by and pay the bills, they volunteered to build their skills and experience. The difference is that this effort simply hasn't delivered for them. They are infinitely employable and yet they struggle to find work.
I listened as the young people in the room shared their experiences and asked legitimate questions of those who run the system that has failed them. It occurred to me that they deserve a much better response than: "I warn you not to be young."
The truth is we have very little idea what it is like to be an unemployed young person right now. What we do know is that most of them, if they had been born five years earlier, would probably have done just fine. They are victims of their dates of birth, just as many of us were beneficiaries of ours.
To quote Kinnock again: "Does anybody really think that they didn't get what we had because they didn't have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment?
"Of course not. It was because there was no platform upon which they could stand."
We know platforms such as Community Jobs Scotland are already helping young people who are ready for work but need extra support through no fault of their own.
We know that there are thousands of young people in Scotland who have the skills and the motivation to work. They just need the opportunity. Building more platforms like Community Jobs Scotland will give them the break they deserve.
Hannah Dunbar is employment services officer for the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.
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